This linked townhouse development, known as Cannonwalls and Claverhouse, provides 14 artist studio spaces as well as communal kitchen and toilet facilities.
History of the Project
Wasps opened this facility in 2010. We'd been looking to set up studios within Dumfries and Galloway for the previous 8 years to meet the high demand for studios there and to extend our network’s geographic spread.
Both the Cannonwalls and Claverhouse buildings sit in Kirkcudbright's historic High Street, close to the Tolbooth Arts Centre and near neighbour to the Selkirk Arms Hotel where Robert Burns reputedly wrote his famous "Selkirk grace":
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
We were drawn to Kirkcudbright in particular because of its reputation as an ‘Artists Town’, one of several themed towns in Dumfries & Galloway (along with Wigtown Book Town and Castle Douglas Food Town). It is home to interesting historical buildings (including the Tolbooth and 16th century remains of MacLellan’s Castle right in the centre of town) and the local landscape has long attracted artists – in the early 20th century many distinguished artists lived in the town: E.A. Hornel (whose former home is now a National Trust property); Jessie M. King and her husband, E.A. Taylor; and Charles Oppenheimer. It was also the summer haunt of visiting artists, such as S.J. Peploe, the Scottish Colourist, and Robert Burns, Head of Painting at Edinburgh College of Art.
Several contemporary artists live and work in the town today and there are also some great local galleries which is evident through the success of events such as Spring Fling. We therefore jumped at the chance to purchase two former town houses, Cannonwalls and Claverhouse, from Dumfries and Galloway Council when they came on to the market in Kirkcudbright back in 2007.
Launched in late 2010, the artists based there have consistently held popular events both within the building and the town itself.
Apply for an artist studio
Our artist studios are intended to support visual and applied artists and makers. We operate a registered waiting list and ask anyone looking to rent a studio with Wasps to apply to our waiting list. For all information on how to apply to the register, as well as details on our lettings process and studio eligibility please visit this section of our website. On occasion, we have studios and offices advertised outwith our registered waiting list. You can find these here: Available Studios & Offices.
Being a Wasps Tenant
With over 40 years worth of expertise, we are the UK’s largest provider of affordable studio space for artists and creative industries.
Tenants of the Wasps community receive the following benefits:
• Affordable studio prices with no hidden costs - utilities and Wifi are all inclusive in artist studios (rates apply for creative offices)
• Building security - all our buildings are either owned or on long term rentals
• 24/7 secure access all year round
• Part of our community of almost 1,000 artists and creatives in our 20 buildings across Scotland
• Exhibiting and selling opportunities through our Arts & Enterprise programme including:
⁃ Exhibitions - over 50% of artists exhibited in our gallery programmes are tenants
⁃ Makers Markets
⁃ South Block shop
⁃ Open Studios
⁃ Art Fairs
• Ability to join our Own Art scheme
• Support and expertise from Wasps’ staff team
• Promotion on our website with an artist profile
The studios are closely located to the town centre.
Travelling from the bus stop at Harbour Square head southwest onto Beaconsfield Place before walking to your left towards St Cuthbert Street. Turn right onto St Cuthbert Street. Turn left onto Castle Street and walk until you reach High Street where you will turn left. The studios will be on the right.